As a participatory exercise, a capitalization processes must be flexible, and it must adapt to the context or to the changing interests of all participants. But it must be prepared in detail so that it reaches the objectives it wants to reach. This starts by identifying the conditions which are needed for every case: institutional support, access to information, and motivated participants. An organisation interested in getting a process started will also need to ensure that the resources which are needed will be available.
A next step is to consider the human resources, or the participants who will need to join the process. A detailed look at their different roles and responsibilities can help when planning a process that will involve many people and which will last some time. The “owners” of the experience or “experience holders” (a category that can equally include project beneficiaries or extension agents) will provide information and bring in their personal opinions. Subject matter specialists may be invited to advise or validate results. The team leaders will co-ordinate all activities, assign specific responsibilities or tasks to other participants, and ensure that activities take place within the given period of time. Finally, a facilitator may be invited to design and lead the process, or to ensure that all participants both contribute to the process and benefit from it.
Next, the required time and resources must be identified, in order to produce both a budget and the plan itself. These include the logistical aspects of timing the various capitalization activities, so that they are in line with the real-life context of the participants and of your organisation, the critical human resources consisting of participants and those supporting the process (especially your staff), the resources to collect, organise and store information, and finally, the financial resources to pay for what is needed.
Once the feasibility and resources have been identified, the team can plan the whole experience capitalization process as a project to efficiently structure all activities. This includes developing a work plan linking objectives, and defining how outputs and activities will support those objectives. It also involves identifying the timing and sequence of all tasks, and assigning roles and responsibilities. These are all linked to the budget. In a nutshell, this step will show who does what and when, and how it is all linked, so that the team achieves the goals it wants to reach. The plan should also include monitoring and evaluation of the process and its intended results, so that the value realised can be measured and made visible.